Course Summary

Leading Experiential Bible Study

Practical theologians and youth pastors, including Dr. Rodger Nishioka and Rev. Dr. Yolanda Smith, discuss the best approaches, tools, and frameworks to use when leading adolescents in Bible study, exploring the spiritual needs of young people and the transformative power that good Bible study can have on youth.

Dr. Yolanda Smith Yolanda Smith

Yolanda Smith was educated at three different institutions. She remained in her home state for her undergraduate training and earned her bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University. She then headed east and earned an M.Div. from Virginia Theological Seminary (1990) before returning to the West where she completed her education by earning a M.A. and Ph.D. in theology at Claremont (1997).

She joined the YDS faculty as a visiting assistant professor in Christian education in 2000. She became member of the core faculty as an assistant professor in 2002, serving in this capacity until 2008 when a bout with cancer forced her to change directions. On disability, she continued to serve YDS part-time as a research scholar and a lecturer. She was able to teach at least one course each year through the 2014-2015 academic year. She was recognized by her peers in the profession when she was elected president of the Religious Education Association (2012-2013).

Dr. Rodger Nishioka Rodger Nishioka

Rev. Dr. Rodger Nishioka became the director of Adult Educational Ministries at Village Presbyterian Church in March of 2016. He is also serving as senior associate. Born in Honolulu and raised in Seattle at the Japanese Presbyterian Church, Rodger is the son of a retired Presbyterian minister. He is one of the most sought-after and inspiring preachers in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Previously, Rodger taught at Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta for 15 years. In that ministry, he taught pastors to be teachers and leaders in the church’s educational ministry, specializing in particular on youth and young adult ministry. On June 5, 2018, Heartland Presbyter approved him for ordination and installation at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 26, in the Village on Mission Sanctuary.

Prior to teaching at Columbia Theological Seminary, Rodger was the national coordinator for Youth and Young Adult Ministries for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1986-1999) and taught English and Social Sciences at Curtis Junior High School (1983-1986). Rodger received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Social and Cultural Foundations of Education from Georgia State University. He earned his Master of Arts in Theological Studies with an emphasis in biblical studies and theology) from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, and a Bachelor of Arts in English with Minor in History and a Teaching Certificate for Secondary Education (Grades 6-12).

Dr. Andy Root Andrew Root

Dr. Andrew Root is the Carrie Olson Baalson Associate Professor of Youth and Family Ministry at Luther Seminary, USA. He writes and researches in areas of theology and youth ministry. His most recent books are The Grace of Dogs (Convergent, 2017), Faith Formation in a Secular Age (Baker, 2017), and Exploding Stars, Dead Dinosaurs, and Zombies: Youth Ministry in the Age of Science (Fortress Press, 2018).

Discussion

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